Alt text for images: how to use it?

The alt text that accompanies images on web pages is also known as an alt tag, which refers to the HTML attribute that describes an image.

This alt attribute is what allows search engines to better crawl and classify a web page and helps reading software to describe images to visually impaired users.

Therefore, when you use the alt text on your website’s images you are applying a SEO strategy, thus promoting a better experience for all web users.

What is the purpose of the image alt text?

The use of the alternative text in the images of a web page serves to:

  • Provide information to software created to make image readings to visually impaired users.
  • Promote a better positioning of the web in Google search engines, by using the keywords.
  • Provide search engines with an easy way to understand what the images contain.
  • Provide a description of the images in cases where the pages do not load properly.

How to include the alt text in images?

Almost all content management systems, known as Content Management Systems (CMS), work in the same way: when you click on the image you can optimize it with a text module in which you can add the information you want.

In case you use a manager that does not provide you a text window, you can write the alt attribute in the HTML code of your page, in which you can make a better edition.

The most important thing in relation to the alternative text of the images is that you should be as specific and descriptive as possible, taking into account that it should always be related to the context of the image.

Recommendations for adding alternative text to images

Among the advice that experts give about the alt text of an image on the web the following stand out:

  • Be as descriptive and specific as possible, using everything that contextualizes the image.
  • Describe it directly; that is, never use the phrase “image of” at the beginning. This is unnecessary because the HTML codes already recognize what the format is about.
  • Don’t use more than 125 characters, because reading software usually doesn’t read more than that, which makes it difficult for visually impaired people to understand.
  • Include the main keyword in the text of the content in a natural way. If you use several images in a single post, use them in at least one of them, especially those that are more representative. In the others you can use the semantic keywords or some synonyms.

Take into account all these recommendations and you will optimize the alternative texts of the images on your website, thus achieving the benefits that this entails.

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